About the Museum


The Judaica Museum was founded in 1982 when Riverdale residents Ralph and Leuba Baum donated their collection of Jewish ceremonial art to the Hebrew Home at Riverdale. A refugee from Nazi persecution, Ralph Baum, and his wife, Leuba, had an intense desire to preserve and pass on to future generations the memory embodied in the objects they collected, the majority of which were used primarily by European Jews before the Holocaust. In 2008, the Judaica Museum was named in honor of its benefactors, the late Helen and Harold Derfner.


Hanukkah Lamp
Bezalel School
Jerusalem, ca. 1920-29
Copper alloy: cast, pierced; copper: stamped
Ralph and Leuba Baum Collection

Zygmunt Menkes (American, b. Poland, 1896-1986)
Cohanim Blessing, ca. 1940s
Oil on canvas, Gift of Erica and Ludwig Jesselson and Family in Memory of Leo Forchheimer

the museum today

Today, the Derfner Judaica Museum occupies a 5,000-square-foot exhibition space in the Jacob Reingold Pavilion at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale. It is the focal point for a wide range of educational and exhibition programming for residents and visitors alike. Completion of the Museum was funded in part by a furnishings grant received from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.



The Derfner Museum welcomes visitors and researchers. We are located in the Jacob Reingold Pavilion within the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, on RiverSpring Health's Riverdale, NY campus.